Posts Tagged ‘smuggling’

Mexico’s Murderers: ¡Gracias, NRA!

May 29, 2018

Mexico's Murderers: ¡Gracias, NRA!

There’s only one gun store in all of Mexico, and it’s on an army base. But the southern border region of the US bristles with gun shops.

“… like so many aspects of life in Mexico, the influence of its powerful neighbor to the north is keenly felt: Each day the army gun store sells on average just 38 firearms to civilians, while an estimated 580 weapons are smuggled into Mexico from the United States.

That paradox is increasingly relevant given Mexico’s unprecedented levels of gun violence, which have claimed more than 100,000 lives over the last decade. Last year was Mexico’s deadliest since the government began releasing homicide statistics in 1997. This year, it is on track to surpass that record.”

— “There is only one gun store in all of Mexico. So why is gun violence soaring?” Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

What can be done? For a start, the U.S. can finally ratify the The Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA)The National Rifle Association has thrown money around and stalled this for a dozen years, at the cost of thousands of lives.

You think life is cheap in Mexico? So are congressmen here in the USA — you can buy them for the cost of a few assault rifles.

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Hobby Lobby Breaks a Commandment. Big Time.

July 7, 2017

Hobby Lobby Breaks a Commandment. Big Time.

The Department of Homeland Security caught Evangelical corporate person Hobby Lobby smuggling ancient ceramics from Iraq. The company will pay a $3 million fine and give up the stolen loot, 5,500 clay tablets and cylinder seals, which will presumably be returned to the Iraqi government as part of its cultural patrimony. Archaeological artifacts are often stolen and smuggled by terrorist groups and provide a major avenue of funding for their activities.

Hobby Lobby is owned by the Green family, currently building a great Ark the Bible Museum in godless Washington, DC. We wonder how many ancient items of dubious provenance are in the museum’s collection.

More:

“Hobby Lobby’s Black-Market Buys Did Real Damage,” Candida Moss and Joel Baden, New York Times

“Christian Retailer Hobby Lobby Stole Middle East History to Make a Bible Museum in Washington, Nina Burleigh, Newsweek

“D.C. Bible Museum Denies Connection to Hobby Lobby’s Smuggled Antiquities,” Julie Strupp, DCist

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Eastern Delights

May 17, 2013

Eastern Delights

“For six years, Rafat Shororo longed for the taste of a KFC sandwich he had eaten in Egypt. This week, he got his finger lickin’ fix at home in the Gaza Strip after a local delivery company managed to smuggle it from Egypt through underground tunnels.

‘It has been a dream, and this company has made my dream come true,’ says Mr. Shororo, an accountant, as he receives his order from the delivery guy.

The al-Yamama company advertises its unorthodox new fast-food smuggling service on Facebook. It gets tens of orders a week for KFC meals despite having to triple the price to 100 shekels ($30) to cover transportation and smuggling fees. The deliveries go from the fryers at the Al-Arish KFC joint 35 miles away to customers’ doorsteps in about three hours.”

— “KFC smugglers bring buckets of chicken through Gaza tunnels,” Ahmed Aldabba, Christian Science Monitor

Also:

“Delivering KFC by Tunnel, Not Too Fast but Satisfying,” Fares Akram, New York Times

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Image (“Arabian Delights, after Ludwig Deutsch [detail]”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cannon Fire Along the Border

March 7, 2013

Cannon Fire Along the Border

Drug smugglers in Mexicali took aim at the USA, firing packets of marijuana over the border with a cannon. The improvised artillery, made from plastic pipe and an old metal tank, used compressed air to fire packets weighing up to 30 pounds into California.

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Gibson Guitars Caught Smuggling

August 9, 2012

Gibson Guitars Caught Smuggling

Gibson Guitars agreed to pay penalties totaling over $$600,000 for smuggling exotic endangered wood into the United States in violation of the century-old Lacey Act. The Act was amended in 2008 to ban importation of illegally harvested hardwoods like Madagascar ebony. Gibson builds many well-known guitar models including the ES-355 (B.B. King and Chuck Berry play it) and the Les Paul, and many of these guitars have ebony fretboards. Madagascar has forbidden logging of its slow-growing ebony since 2006, meaning US importation from that date forward was illegal.

In order to avoid criminal prosecution, Gibson acknowledged that it imported exotic wood in violation of environmental laws, paid the Justice Department $300,000 in penalties, forfeited claims to over $250,000 worth of wood seized by the Feds, and contributed $50,000 to a foundation to promote the conservation of protected tree species.

At least Gibson didn’t get caught smuggling illegal weapons into the country. Blackwater did that.

More:

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US Police Export Guns to Mexican Drug Cartels

August 8, 2011

USA Police Export Guns to Mexico

The former mayor of Columbus, New Mexico has pleaded guilty to smuggling 200 guns across the U.S. border into Mexico to buyers in the La Línea drug cartel.  At least 12 of the weapons were used in murders. The 11 people charged with gun trafficking also include the Columbus police chief and a town trustee. The weapons, purchased from Arizona and New Mexico gun shops by “straw buyers,” were smuggled into Mexico using unmarked Columbus police vehicles.

The entire Columbus police force has been fired. Unfortunately, the firearms have been too, and people died.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Big Border Bologna Bust!

May 20, 2011

Big Border Bologna Bust!

In a stunning security coup, agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service seized 385 pounds of bologna sausage at the New Mexico border last week. Officials bagged the bologna bandit as he sought to smuggle illicit lunchmeat into sleepy Santa Teresa, NM (population 2607).  The contraband cold cuts, with a street value of $2,700, were seized and destroyed before they reached the lunchboxes of innocent American schoolchildren.

Yet, for each bologna bagged at the border, surely six salamis slither across. Mr. President: where is our Border Wall?

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Smugglers’ Siege Engine Propels Pot

February 25, 2011

 Smugglers' Siege Engine Propels Pot

Chivalry may be dead, but the Middle Ages are alive on the Mexican Border. Federales found a catapult used by drug smugglers to propel pot over the border fence and into the Arizona desert.  Cops captured the catapult and cannabis but the flingers fled. Anybody missing from the Centro de Estudios Medievales at the Universidad de Sonora?

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